Quick draw contest blamed in shooting | greatfallstribune.com | Great Falls Tribune
A "quick draw" competition between friends sent one man to the hospital Sunday night after his opponent forgot that his gun was loaded, according to criminal charges filed Monday.
Henry Haviland, 23, was in serious but stable condition at Benefis Healthcare on Monday evening.
Zachary Enloe, 20, was in jail on a felony charge of criminal endangerment.
Police responded to a call at about 9 p.m. Sunday from an apartment at 4120 3rd Ave. S. The caller said he had accidentally shot his friend. When officers arrived, they found Haviland lying in the alley behind the apartment with a gunshot wound to his face.
In the charge filed against Enloe in Cascade County District Court, prosecutors gave their account of what they believe led up to the shooting.
Enloe was visiting Haviland on Sunday afternoon at the apartment where Haviland's girlfriend lives. Both men had handguns; Enloe was armed with a 9mm pistol and Haviland's was a .45 caliber. The two were drawing the unloaded weapons and "dry-firing" at each other, prosecutors charge.
At about 7 p.m., Haviland and his girlfriend went to Wal-Mart, and Enloe left the apartment separately, according to the charges.
Around 9 p.m., the three met up at the apartment again. Enloe sat in the living room, while Haviland stood in the same room and dry-fired his unloaded gun into the fireplace. Haviland then pointed the gun at Enloe and pulled the trigger, according to court documents.
Prosecutors say Enloe jumped out of his chair, pulled his own gun from a holster, and shot Haviland in the jaw.
Enloe had forgotten that he loaded the gun since the two had last pretended to shoot each other, prosecutors said. Haviland made his way outside, where he collapsed in the alley, and Enloe called 9-1-1.
There was alcohol at the apartment, but police are unsure if the two men were drinking when the incident happened, said Great Falls Police Officer William Brooks.
On Monday, Enloe made his initial appearance in court by video from Cascade County Detention Center, where his bond was set at $2,500.
Haviland is facing his own gun-related charge for an unrelated incident earlier this year. On April 26, he was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a handgun in front of another man as the two were driving separate vehicles.
Court documents say that the two men got out of their cars, and Haviland again took out a gun and threatened to kill the other man.
An officer stopped Haviland that night and found a gun in his car.
Haviland was released on bond after his arrest, and is scheduled to be arraigned in Cascade County District Court on a felony charge of assault with a weapon next month.
Sunday's shooting was the latest in a series of similar incidents in Great Falls. Last week, Brian Walsh, 24, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his friend with a gun Walsh thought wasn't loaded. In May, Airman Jonathon Higgins was accused of firing a shot that killed fellow airman John Howry while the two were joking around at a party.
Higgins is charged with negligent homicide, and is scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 18.
"They've pretty much been back-to-back," Brooks said. "It's rare that we have incidents like this that are so close together."
Reach Tribune Staff Writer Zachary Franz at 791-6547 or email@example.com.